Canon 70D beginning macro

Just bought that first macro lens? Post here to get helpful feedback and answers to any questions you might have.

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Helium2
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:50 pm
Location: North Texas

Canon 70D beginning macro

Post by Helium2 »

I've been shooting normal images for 20+ years, but have no experience with macro.
I have a Canon 70D with an 18-135mm & an 11-16mm.
I'm interested in exploring macro photography.
I have a LED light box that is quite bright ( from one direction ) & I'm playing with my options for a diffuser for it.

What is a good low-medium priced beginner lens?

Where can I find a "macro for dummies" tutorial or three that can kick start my efforts?

TIA for your patience. :wink:

JayMcClellan
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Location: Saranac, Michigan
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Re: Canon 70D beginning macro

Post by JayMcClellan »

You can get great results with a simple close-up adapter for your 18-135mm lens. I would recommend a Raynox DCR-150 because it gives very good image quality at a (reasonably) modest cost and is a more moderate close-up lens than its brother the DCR-250, which gives higher magnification but is harder for a beginner to use due to the narrower depth of field. I own much higher-end macro optics but I still often use my DCR-150 in the field because it's so quick to attach/detach so it's a great accessory to carry with you just in case a macro subject comes up. It's also very popular as a tube lens for infinite microscope objectives, if you someday decide to get into higher magnification, so it's a piece of kit that you can keep on using. Even if you decide to get a dedicated macro lens, a Raynox can still be used with it to push the magnification a little higher. Some people prefer extension tubes and they can also work well, but I've had mixed results getting them to play nicely with electronic lenses whereas a Raynox just works and you really can't go wrong with it when starting out.

Helium2
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:50 pm
Location: North Texas

Re: Canon 70D beginning macro

Post by Helium2 »

Thank you for your advice! I will certainly explore the Raynox.

:D

Chris S.
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Re: Canon 70D beginning macro

Post by Chris S. »

Helium2, welcome to posting! :D

I don't know your specific subject interests for macro and close-up photography. But let me suggest that you strongly consider buying a dedicated, long-focal-length, standard "macro" lens. (I put the word "macro" in quotation marks because this use of this word has made pedants argue--but don't worry about that.) A longish lens that focuses from infinity to 1:1 is an incredibly useful optical multitasker that will ease your entry into the world of photographing small subjects, and that will continue to be an imaging workhorse even if you go deeper into photography of even smaller subjects--even if you acquire expensive, specific, exotic optics and other tools. I'll bet that most of us here who have lots of optics for high magnification also have a good, general-purpose macro lens, and make frequent use of it.

Your camera has a "crop-frame" APS-C sensor with a 1.6X crop factor, so a macro lens with a focal length of 60mm will likely serve you well. (Speaking here from experience about what seems to work in life.) It will have equivalent coverage of an approximately 96mm lens on a full-frame camera. I live in the Nikon world, where 105mm is a standard macro-lens focal length, and find this a sweet spot for a wide variety of close-up work. The moderate "longness" of such a lens lets you stay back some distance from your subjects, which is helpful in for lighting your subjects, keeping some distance from bugs, and shooting with a pleasing perspective.

When I was in university, I first started getting close to small photographic subjects. I was on a tight budget, and tried diopters (aka "close-up filters," of which the Raynox offerings are current examples), bellows, reversed lenses, and other things. I found none of these fully satisfying. But when I scraped together my pennies and bought a dedicated macro lens, my images, and experience shooting macro, made me think: "Where has this macro lens been all my life?"

Years later, I continue to find that having a really good, basic, infinity-to-1x lens (aka, a "macro lens") gives me a useful, versatile, tool. Today, I shoot from infinity to 100x, and have lots of expensive optics dedicated for specific slices within the range of "small." Still, my trusty 105mm, infinity to 1:1 macro lens is perhaps my most-used lens. I doubt many photographers regret buying a solid, basic, longish-focal length standard "macro" lens--no matter how sophisticated they get.

Best,

--Chris S.

Helium2
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:50 pm
Location: North Texas

Re: Canon 70D beginning macro

Post by Helium2 »

Thanks for your input. I'll put your recommendations on the bulletin board, too!
I can tell I have some research to do about this new endeavor of mine!

:D

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